Teri Fahrendorf is a beer legend. Award-winning brewmaster, Bedouin brewer, beer store clerk, malt and hops sales rep and founder of the Pink Boots Society. Yet, Fahrendorf is only the start of the amazing women in American brewing, putting their fingerprints, passions and personalities on the craft community, including Laura Ulrich, small batch brewer at Stone Brewing Co.
Recently, Ulrich actually succeeded Fahrendorf as prez of the most progressive women’s beer organization in America — the Pink Boots Society — a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the careers of women in brewing. Fahrendorf is stepping down in order to focus on her family and her career at Great Western Malting.
“I am thrilled that Laura was voted in as President by the Board,” said Fahrendorf. “Laura has been here from the beginning, and indeed she was the first young woman brewer I met in 2007 who inspired me to start Pink Boots Society. She is the right person at the right time, and she brings a fresh perspective and deep commitment to PBS.”
First off: Laura Ulrich was unanimously elected president of the organization. Second off: Ulrich has been an integral PBS member since its inception, holding a number of key positions in the organization, including Scholarship Committee Coordinator. Additionally, Ulrich has been the PBS SoCal/San Diego Chapter Leader since 2010. Third off: As a part of the Stone Brewing Small Batch Brewing team, Ulrich has been responsible for creating specialty beers, brewing pilot batches, research and development and producing cask-conditioned beers. Her position at Stone also involves maintaining the barrel-aged beer program at Stone’s super-top-secret barrel warehouse, which stores the inventory of more than 1,400 beer-filled oak barrels previously used for spirits and wines.
It’s an impressive resume that personifies the Pink Boots Society’s caliber. We asked Ulrich some quick questions, and here’s what she gave us:
What are three reasons to join the Pink Boots Society?
Ulrich: Pink Boots Society offers its members monthly scholarships that are geared toward furthering their knowledge in several aspects of the brewing industry from distribution, hop education, technical brewing and Cicerone Certification training. Members have resources available to network and connect with other women in the brewing industry, not just at GABF or CBC, but also by participating and engaging with their local chapters. I’m impressed to see how many of these have formed all over the United States and internationally. By becoming a member, women in the brewing world can utilize the tools available to find educational opportunities, job openings and develop relationships that may help with industry advancement.
Who are three women who inspired you to get into brewing?
Ulrich: There are more than three, but since I can only name a few, Denise Jones, Megan Parisi, Whitney Thompson and Melanie Knepp. More than the fact that I’ve had the opportunity to brew collaborative beers with three of these ladies, their advice, encouragement and professional perspectives have been extremely inspiring to me.
What are three pieces of advice for women in brewing?
Ulrich: Ask A LOT of questions. Be confident! Be yourself.